Laser Capsulotomy

Laser capsulotomy is a painless procedure done with a special laser called a YAG laser. It is primarily performed to treat posterior capsule opacification, which is a misting of the bag holding the intraocular lens in someone who has had cataract surgery.

Laser Capsulotomy

Laser capsulotomy is a painless procedure done with a special laser called a YAG laser. It is primarily performed to treat posterior capsule opacification, which is a misting of the bag holding the intraocular lens in someone who has had cataract surgery.

Why is laser capsulotomy performed?

Posterior capsule opacification happens in about 20% of eyes after cataract surgery. In more rare cases, laser capsulotomy is used to treat anterior capsule phimosis.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Laser capsulotomy is a routine procedure performed in clinic. After your vision is checked, drops are instilled in the eye to dilate the pupil and numb the surface of the eye. You will be taken to the laser room in clinic, where a friend or family-member may join you as long as they wear safety goggles. The laser is attached to a microscope identical to that you were examined with, and a contact lens may be placed on your eye.

The laser is typically done in five minutes, and is painless. After the laser, drops will be instilled in the eye to keep the pressure down and your doctor may give you some drops to use for a few days at home.

Laser capsulotomy is usually very effective and safe. The pressure in the eye can rise afterwards, and this may need to be treated with drops. The eye may also become inflamed after the procedure – this again may need to be treated with drops. The intraocular lens of the eye may be damaged by the laser, but this is typically avoided by aiming the laser beam away from the lens. Floaters can increase after the procedure. Finally, there is a theoretical risk of retinal detachment after laser, although this is rare.

There are no drops that can treat posterior capsule opacification. Treatment is either with laser or surgery. When the condition is mild, no treatment is needed and observation alone is recommended.